Infotainment Influx Taking Toll On Customers and Dealers Alike
You remember Rikk Wilde. The Chevrolet regional manager became an immediate sensation last fall when he stammered through his World Series presentation and invoked the now-famous "technology and stuff" catchphrase to describe the automaker's latest offerings. As it turns out, he's not the only car guy struggling to offer more specifics on the newest automotive technology.
The US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are adding crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support to the list of recommended safety features under the New Car Assessment Program. They are not mandated technologies, simply encouraged for new vehicle buyers.
British comedian Rowan Atkinson is selling his dark purple 1997 McLaren F1 for the equivalent of about $12 million. Since owning the McLaren, Atkinson has covered 41,000 miles in it and has crashed the supercar at least twice.
The configurator for the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport is now online, and it shows the pricing and available options for all three trim levels of this entry-level luxury CUV. Regardless of model, the Disco Sport comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and nine-speed automatic driving all four wheels.
A leaked letter to dealers from Mercedes-Benz seems to indicate that the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 with 503 hp and 479 pound-feet starts at $129,900. Pricing for options would reportedly be released later.
Although there were hints and allegations that the Volkswagen Group might have taken the global sales crown for 2014, the final tally puts Toyota at the top for the third year in a row with 10.23 million sales in 2014. Volkswagen Group came second with 10.14 million units sold, General Motors came third with 9.92 million units sold. In 2015, however, the top two positions are expected to swap.
Hyundai and Kia dealers in Grand Junction, CO, are buying $180,000 in gift cards for local businesses and giving them away to previous customers as part of a new marketing strategy. Not only does the plan get more buyers into the the showrooms than traditional advertising, but it reinvests money back into the community.
Porsche is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Porsche Club of America with the limited edition 911 GTS Club Coupe. Painted in an exclusive shade of blue and featuring some vintage-inspired touches, the brand is only making 60 of these models, and they are exclusively on offer to PCA members.
The government in Tokyo, Japan, is embarking on an aggressive plan to put 6,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and have 35 hydrogen refueling station in the city in time for the Olympic games there in 2020. It's working with Toyota and Honda to hopefully make the goal a reality.
The order guide for the 2016 Ford Explorer gives meticulous buyers the chance to check out everything that's available with every trim of the updated SUV. In addition to its new Platinum trick package, there's some new tech available, as well as the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder.
Canadian industrial design professor Bruce Thomson is on the hunt for a classic car, and he's chronicling the search in a novel way. Thomson is using his skill as an artist to sketch the vintage cars that he checks out and is posting driving impressions of them on his blog. He initially started looking for a Triumph TR6, but now a wide range of vintage European rides have been added to the list of possibilities.
After several years of growing sales, Subaru sees 2015 as no different. The Japanese brand thinks that it could sell around 540,000 vehicles in the US this year to make it the automaker's largest single market. To cope with all of this demand, the brand is also boosting production and later planning to add additional capacity to its SIA factory in Indiana for the Legacy and Outback.
With gas prices down, that means green car sales are likely to decline as well. TrueCar's TrueSavings report has the evidence to support that idea, with one electric car and two hybrids among the top five in January for the biggest transaction price savings compared to MSRP.
Automotive remarketer Alteso is pitching a new way to conduct wholesale car auctions, which currently aren't open to the public. Their idea would give everyday customers a way to visit a dealer's site to see what's being offered at auction, then they could request the dealer buy the car on their behalf and take delivery the next day.
Despite only being on the market for a few months, Hyundai is already reportedly considering a major redesign of the latest Sonata. While demand is growing, the automaker wants the model to sell even better. The changes in the look of the Korean sedan would be timed with the model's refresh in 2017 or 2018.
Comedian Blake Anderson, a co-creator and star of the Comedy Central show Workaholics, skipped the usual Porsche or BMW as his first big purchase after entertainment industry success. Instead, he opted for the most patriotic vehicle that he could find. Anderson tells the story of buying his bald-eagle-adorned Jeep in this interview with Conan O'Brien.